Sunday, May 31, 2020

Tweedles Finds Her Parents Two Special Gifts


Poor Tweedles barely has had a day’s rest since she arrived at the Bridge because of how her parents’ were suffering.  The pain that a soul feels when a loved one goes to the immortal side is equal to the amount of love the survivor held in their hearts for the one they lost.  For Tweedles’ parents, that was nearly their whole hearts.  For weeks after her passing, they existed like zombies with nothing living inside.  

    Tweedles visited her parents in their dreams, then as various winged creatures, and even as a ghost, but she could not break through her parents’ grief.  It didn’t seem that anything would work, except one.  She needed to find her parents, another dog who could start repairing their hearts.

    She interviewed hundreds of pups, some of them were in shelters, others waiting to be born.  Occasionally I would help her and point out dogs that I was sure her parents would love, but Tweedles had very specific traits she needed to see in her replacement, and no dog was meeting them, not even by half.

    I don’t like to tell another dog how they should be searching for their successor, but I did think Tweedles was too strict.  None of us can find the perfect dog to replace us; we all have to settle for close enough and hope, with our guidance, the dogs will improve after they join our pack.  But Tweedles would accept nothing less than the absolute perfect dog.  I told her it sounded like she needed a pup who was twice as good as the candidates she had interviewed.

    A look of realization came over Tweedle's face.  “That’s perfect!” she yelled.  She ran out of the house.  Honestly, I had no idea what she meant.

    But, I soon found out.  I saw Tweedles interviewing pairs of dogs.  I agreed, two dogs might be able to rebuild her parents’ hearts, but it was hard enough to get our humans to find the single dog we chose for them, getting them to pick the right two would be impossible.

Tweedles was confident.  She had a unique connection with her parents.  It was hard for him to give them comfort after she came to the Bridge because the wall of grief caused by her passing was too strong, but now she would be approaching them with a new tactic, with two new partners to triple-team the pain.

She found the perfect duo in pre-born classes.  Like her, they were pugs, and almost as adorable as she was.  They are named Mooki and Biddie.  They were filled with love, snuggles, devotion, and cuteness.  It was the perfect recipe to help slay the grief monster.

It took a lot of dream persuading with both her parents to get them to open their house to two trouble-making baby pugs but, after nights of dream visits, she wore down their reserves. Even if they didn’t realize they would do so, one morning, they uttered the same thought; it was time to open their house to a new baby, a double in fact.  

Many people would think that people her parents’ age would be crazy to take in two puppies, and the duo, have certainly kept their parents busy, by crawling into every crevice, having boundless energy, and creating the two things that conquer grief every time:  Love and staying active.

Tweedles is delighted when she watches her two chargers with her parents.  The grief they had carried for so long was easing in her heart too.  Like all dogs, she feels what her parents are feeling, and the sadness is turning to joy.

Finally, Tweedles is happy at the Bridge, and she can rest, knowing the long projet of starting to rebuild her parent’s hearts is over.  

She had found two great carpenters in Mooki and Biddi.

Let the rebuilding begin.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Arthur Goes from the Jungle to the Couch

Personally, I have always found dogs to be a quiet animal, who is happiest sitting with it’s human and thinking of grand adventures, but some dogs need to have adventures for real.

    Dogs often take on the personality of their humans.  If you belong to a musician, you are likely to sit around and get high all day; if your parent is an accountant, you learn to lie under the computer table and are always uptight, and if your parent is an athlete, a sedentary lifestyle is only a dream.

    I don’t know if I could have put up with being the dog living with someone like Swedish athlete Mikael Lindford, who doesn’t do the things I like the most, like sleep, take leisurely meals, and enjoy his downtime.  He likes to climb, bike, trek, and compete.  Not the life for a Yorkie.  

    Mikael never showed any interest in having a pet.  Some humans are like that, and there is nothing wrong with it.  If they want to live a life without joy, then who am I to judge?  He met a woman named Helena and made her his wife, and they had a beautiful daughter.  It looked like he would be dogless his whole life.   

    Mikael, for some strange reason, enjoys endurance racing through exotic areas, like the Ecuadorian jungle, where one day he was passing by venomous creatures, through impenetrable trails, and over rocky ground, when he saw something that didn’t belong.

    It was a beautiful dog, mud crusted, thin, and weary.  Mikael was used to seeing wild dogs on his races.  They usually got in the way and begged for food.  But this dog just looked at Mikael lovingly, without raising even a bark.  Mikael went to the dog and shared a meatball with him.  

    Mikeal began to force his way through the mud, water, and thick forest. An exhausted Arthur never left Mikael’s side.  Arthur knew he had found his human.  They crossed the finish line together.  Mikael had never had a better partner.  He examined Arthur and found the dog had serious wounds and teeth damage.   He swore to take good care of his partner and bring him home.  Immediately he hit with two obstacles harder to navigate than the jungle.  Ecuadorian authorities did not want to let Arthur leave the country, and the Swedes did not want to let him in the country.  Mikael patiently dealt with the bureaucratic red tape from both countries and persuaded them to allow Arthur to go to Sweden.  For Arthur, the worst part of the entire endeavor was the scary plane ride.  

    Once they landed, Arthur met Mikael’s family, who instantly fell in love with him.  Arthur finally had his forever home, thousands of miles from his place of birth.   Mikael never knew how many angel dogs worked on bringing these unusual souls together and kept them that way.

    Arthur got life-saving surgery.  When he awoke and did not see Mikael, he began to howl, thinking he had lost the dad he had worked so hard to be with.  Then he saw Mikael, who began to pet him and speak softly.  A relieved Arthur settled down immediately.

    When he recovered, Arthur began to go on adventures with Mikael, always keeping him company, even on the toughest courses. The difference is that no matter where they run now, they are running home together.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

River Gets A Lesson in Social Distancing

I had no idea how regulated dogs were on their walks until I met Tori, a black poodle, who works for the Woof Health Organization. She walks with her mother, Nancy, to different neighborhoods to police how dogs are social distancing. 

    I encountered her when my Dad was walking Pocket and me. When I saw Tori, I began barking loudly. “Stop right there!” Tori snapped at me. “Don’t you realize there is a pandemic going on?  We dogs have been asked to stop the spread of the virus, so the veterinarians' do not get overrun.  And when you see me, you start barking.  Don’t you know when you bark droplets of your spit go into my mouth?”

    I defended myself.  I explained that I never leave the village and don’t approach other dogs until now, that my mommy doesn’t go out except for supplies and when she does, she wraps herself in a full-body condom so nothing can touch her.  My Daddy does the same, but he has his own condom.  That isn’t something you should share. Because of these facts, I explained, I could not be carrying the virus.

    “Regardless,” Tori said.  “We all must act like we have the virus to make sure we don’t spread the disease, because if you are sick and don’t go by the guidelines, then when our mom pets you, she gets sick, and BAM!  She’s dead.  If you cannot abide by the rules, you won’t be allowed to go on walks.”   Obsequious Pocket stood behind Daddy and acted as is she was the perfect dog when we know she breaks the rules more than anyone.  She has learned to do it when no one is paying attention.  Pockets are crafty.

    Tori told me to keep walking and pay her no attention. Like that was possible.  I buried my nose in the grass, sniffing something deep below the soil.  “Stop it!” Tori barked.  I gave her my resting bitch face, but she wasn’t intimidated.  “When you sniff you take in all the germs left by those who sniffed before you,” Tori barked.  “Some of them are feral.  They haven’t even had their shots.  You sniff something here, and you go home, your mom pets you, she gets sick and BAM!, she’s dead.  Is that what you want?”

    I growled that it wasn’t.  Tori heard a noise behind her and turned around.  I took that opportunity to sniff her butt.  Tori whipped back, “Did you just butt sniff me without permission?”  I blamed it on instinct.  “First of all, you violated my rights.  You #MeToo-ed me.  And butt-sniffing during a pandemic?  Do you know what comes out of my butt?  Poop.  You know what poop has?”  Germs.  You sniff my butt, go home, your mom pets you, she gets sick and BAM! She’s dead. Is that what you want?”  Wow, Tori knew how to spoil a pleasant walk.

    I said I didn’t want my mom to get sick. What I really wanted was for Tori to go away.  Then she called Pocket, a good dog for not sniffing with me.  I snarled:  “The only reason she didn’t sniff your ass is that she needs a step ladder to get up there.” 
    We began to walk again, and I stopped to pee. 

    “What are you doing?” Tori yelled.  “Your pee is full of germs.  Some other dog smells your pee, goes home, makes their mom sick, and BAM! She’s dead.  Is that what you want?”

    I gave her a most lethal stare but could not break Tori’s accusing look.  “Fine!” I yipped, then turned for home pulling Pocket behind me.  As soon as I got there, I pooped on the floor.  I couldn’t do it outside.  Tori would have said I was spreading germs, some dog would get them, their mom would pet them, and BAM! They would be dead.  

    “River, you were just outside!”  Mommy scolded me.  But what was I to do? When you can’t poop inside or out, it’s not the pandemic that will get you but the gas.

    I know now the best way to social distance. I am never leaving the house.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Monday Question

When was the last time you got in trouble and what did you do?

Pocket:  Last week I peed on the floor right after I had been outside.

River:  I keep getting up on a dining room chair and try to steal food.

Together:  We go into a tussle inside our stroller during garden time and Mommy had to bang on the stroller with a trowel to get our attention and make us stop.

It's a good thing we are cute.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

A Memorial Day Salute to Rip


We can learn so much from the dogs who preceded us at the Bridge.  It is information that we could have used on the mortal side.  Unfortunately, these lessons are rarely available to us before we reached the immortal side.   If we are lucky, we will have a devoted angel, as my sisters do with me, who will teach us these lessons in our dreams, but too often they are forgotten as soon as the pup awakens as it’s mind changes to food, poop, and pee.  

This week I was offered an outstanding opportunity to learn from dogs who have been at the Bridge for decades and lived extraordinary lives.  I attended a reunion of pup war veterans.  I was anxious to get all I could from these heroes.

I thought the dogs would be much bigger than me, with giant paws, and ferocious barks.  What I discovered was that they were average dogs.  I guess heroes do come in all shapes and sizes, even tiny ones like me.  

The first of these hero dogs I encountered at the reunion was Rip, a crossbreed terrier, who never actually served in the military.  He lost his home and his family in a bombing raid.  Rip was found on the streets of London by an air raid warden.  The pup led rescuers to survivors buried in the rubble, and then kept doing it, without any formal training.  He rescued over 100 people before the end of the war.   I asked him how he could be so brave.

“When the bombs first fell, I was terrified.  I hated being without my family.  Then I started looking for them, and I learned that they moved north and left me behind.  I began finding people because I was hungry and hoped they had treats.  Most of the time, they didn’t, but occasionally I would get a bit of bacon if the bombs fell in the morning.   Those were the best rescues.  After the war, I went to live with Daddy Warden, and I was delighted.” 

I asked him if he was ever as scared of the bombs as I was when it thundered.  “A lot more,” he said, “because thunder never hurts you, but the bombs cause houses to collapse, and when a building lands on you, it smarts.”  I hung my head because it was a bad comparison, but Rip assured me it was alright, because no dog should have to live with bombs falling around them, and thunder was the closest thing to it.  

He assured me that if a bombing occurred where we lived that I would have been just as brave as he was because we little dogs get things done.  Rip said he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and, when life puts you there, you have to make the best of it, which is what dogs have been doing it since the first pup crawled out of the litter. 
Rip is a very wise pup.   When I asked him for life-advice, he said never to give up on a human.  They might have goodies. 

I passed this wisdom on to my sisters, and sadly they reacted by barking at everyone one they saw trying to get treats instead of waiting for a building to collapse on them.  They are so unprofessional.  They would never have made it in the war.

Friday, May 22, 2020

How Foley and Her Sister Blake Saved the Rhinos



My sister Blake and I were having a nice day in the yard when suddenly the ground began to shake, the leaves on the trees rustled, and the tiny animals took refuge on high branches.  Blake and I saw two rhinos walking down the street.  

“What do you think they are doing here in Doggyspace?” Blake asked me.  

“Nothing good,” I said.

We were gobsmacked when they walked towards us.

“You think we should run?” Blake asked.

“They would be on us in a second,” I replied.  I stood in front of Blake as if I could protect her.  Thankfully, the rhinos stopped inches from us.  

“Are you the honorable Judge Foley Monster?” the rhino asked.  I said I was because rule number one of dealing with a rhino is never lying to a rhino.  “My name is Nick and this is my brother Joe, we are the Rhino brothers.   We need your help.”

I couldn’t imagine how, and I conveyed my confusion.  “Our whole species is endangered by vicious poachers.  Joe and I are the heads of ‘Rhino Angels To Save the Species, or RATSS.’  We have studied different ways to protect the mortal rhinos, the best of which involves dogs hunting down the poachers and stopping them.  Out of all the creatures we have seen no one is better at doing what they set out to do than dogs.”
I asked him how we could help.

“The poachers are our biggest threat,” Joe said.  “The nice humans are doing the best they can to stop them, but the evil people are always one step ahead.   You dogs have the unique ability to sniff out both rhinos and humans.  You can tell when the hunters are getting close to us, run down the poachers, and either alert the patrols or bite the crap out of them.” 

Nick said, “what we need you to do is enter dogs’ dreams, and get them to agree to learn how to track rhinos and the poachers, and then slip into the dreams of the patrolling humans and get them to give dogs a chance to go on rounds with them.  Once dogs begin to track and attack the poachers, I think rhinos in the wild can live peaceful lives.”

“We would suggest it to them,” Nick said. “But, when people see a rhino in their dreams, it becomes a nightmare.”

I said that I was willing to try.  (When you have a rhino on your lawn, never say no.  They don’t like that word.)

The dogs I talked to were very excited to become rhino savers, and the humans were open to any help they could get. When the humans sought out canine partners, the dogs jumped at the opportunity.  They formed a K9 Fast Response team, and from day one, the humans were impressed with the dogs’ dedication.

Among the dogs who have joined the K9 Fast Response Squad are black-and-tan coonhounds, Belgian Malinois, and Foxhounds.  The teams that are assigned to stop poachers without dogs only have a five percent success rate, while teams with canines are successful 68 percent of the time, and that number will grow as more dogs join the cause.

Yesterday Nick and Joe came to our house to thank us.  They said they were bringing a feast.  They brought five leafy bushes.  I don’t understand herbivores at all.
We did accept their offering and even ate a few leaves because you never look a gift rhino in the bush.

But truthfully, the dogs on patrol would have done it for nothing.  Catching poaches and saving rhinos is fun, and big beasts make great allies.


Thursday, May 21, 2020

New Video Game Parent's to Play and Give Their Dogs a Break


When people are locked up for too long, they begin to wish they could do things that they did with regularity before.  A lot of these activities have to do with dogs.  Some people, who live in virus hotspots, can’t even walk their pups.  They long for familiar things.  Of course, there is always someone willing to make a buck off of the situation.

 The Ringling College of Arts and Design, in conjunction with the Flight School Studio, has created just such a game for dog owners who miss the more mundane aspects of parenting.  Wet Dog Corp is a realistic simulation game where the goal is to wash as many virtual dogs as possible.  The dogs come in different breeds, some are easy to clean, and others are covered with mud.  Somehow, this game is making money.  I began to think about how much cash we could make if we made a video experience that was based on the fun things humans do with dogs.

River and I went into my kitty condo to come up with several ideas for fun video games that will help people deal with their loss of beloved outdoor activity they undertook with their dog and can be played by people while their dog naps. 

The first game we invented is called “Pick up the Poop.”  You need your virtual reality goggles, and a new virtual reality scent detector to play.  You put both the goggles and the scent detector on, and then walk around the house finding and picking up virtual poop.  In the advanced rounds, you wear a glove that tugs you away from the poop, just like a dog would.

You also wear gloves for the virtual dog walk.  You can pick the route you want to travel and the type of dog you need for the company.  You must be careful.  If you choose the wrong dog, it will begin to drag you across the house, and, if a door is not closed, down the street, especially if you spend extra money for the added squirrel sensing option.

There is also a dogfighting game where you have to separate battling pups at the dog park.  The simulator sends electrical shocks through your body as the dogs turn on you and attack.

I think a big winner is going to be the “nose in the crotch” game.  You put the controller down your pants and wait for the sensation of a dog sticking his muzzle in.  We predict this will be a big hit with the suburban mother demo.

We are done designing the games but, being dogs, we have no way to bring it to market, so I am publishing our inventions, and the first person who reads this can patent the ideas and soon be rolling in millions of dollars.  We don’t ask for anything, except that you share some of your money with the local shelters.

When the next shutdown happens, pet parents will be prepared, and when they want to walk the dog, our beloved pup friends can still lie on the couch instead of having to endlessly be dragged up and down the road all day long.  Frankly, we need a break.

Enjoy, friends.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Monday, May 18, 2020

Monday Question

How do you react when people come over the house?
Pocket:  First, I run to the door, and River, who can see out the window by standing on her two back legs, looks out the window, and we both bark thirty barks a second.  We have a porch so people go on that first and then to the front door.  We continue barking and then stand right in front of the door.  When the door opens we rush on to the porch to greet our friends and sniff their paints and feet. We continue this for another 30 seconds and then we lose interest and lie down. 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Barnum and Bailey are Reuntied at Rainbow Bridge

It is a verifiable circus here at Rainbow Bridge since, after five years, Barnum and Bailey Beagle have been reunited
My good friends from down the road in Cape Cod are a delightful pair, and we look forward to them spreading joy at the Bridge. We know Bailey's parting caused such sorrow.
 
While Bailey loves her brother very much, she did everything she could not join him. For fifteen and a half years, Bailey has been a survivor. She handled each curve ball thrown at her. In her later years, she was hit with melanoma, which she fought with every ounce of her being
 
She did this for two reasons: The first was because she loved her parents very much, and the second was that she made a promise to Barnum, who went to the Bridge too early. Before he left, he made his sister vow that she would give her full measure of devotion to her parents, and every last bit of energy.
 
The last of her devotion expired this week.
 
She held off the effects of melanoma, even after it began to spread to her back end. This caused her legs to fail. Bailey looked at her mom, and her eyes said: “That’s okay mom, I still have my front ones, may I have a fortune cookie?”
 
Bailey kept up the ruse that she was hungry as long as she could, but over time she could not stomach another treat. She projected a brave front during the day, but at night her demons betrayed her, and she could not control crying in her sleep. It came half from pain and a half from knowing her song was ending.
 
Her parents wanted her to give up the fight. They hoped she would pass in her sleep, but Bailey kept holding on. The dark angels, who had been trying to the Bridge, grew impatient waiting and gave her a seizure. Bailey never fully recovered from their attack.
 
After the seizure, Bailey slept for hours. When she awoke in the middle of the night, she began crying and howling. Her parents tried to calm her, but they couldn’t. They didn’t know that, inside of a dream, Bailey was fighting the dark angels to stay, and knew she was losing. She kept howling that she didn’t want to go, but her opponents were not listening.
 
Bailey’s parents could not calm her down. They knew it was time. They kept her comfortable until the vet opened at 8:30. Her parents were afraid that they were going to have to say goodbye to their baby in the car, but the vet allowed them to go into his office, where they could hold Bailey until she passed over, and joined Barnum.
 
Bailey moved tentatively as she started across the Bridge, but with each step, all the pain that she had felt was swept away. She soon was running, like she did when she was young. We made sure we filmed it, so her parents could see Bailey's transformation in their dreams even if they won't be able to remember it.
 
When Bailey and Barnum were reunited, they sped towards one another with their tails wagging a million beats a second. They kissed, yipped, and zoomed. Bailey began barking, but not from pain or sorrow; she was singing a song of joy.
 
Both beagles know their parents are going to be walking the road of grief for a long time. Bailey’s passing brought up memories of Barnum’s transition, making the pain twice as bad. Barnum and Bailey want their parents to be as joyful as they were when the pups were young, and they are going to try to ease their pain through good thoughts as their parents sleep.
 
It will take time, but when you are at the Bridge, all you have is time. I will be spending a lot of it at Barnum and Bailey’s awesome dog circus.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Foley Monster Write About the Fraught Relationship Between Dogs and Mail Carriers


We dogs have a difficult relationship with the mail delivery people.  Hating the mailman seems to be inbred in us, but I do not know why.  I went to visit Barney, who grew up running on the wild suburban streets of the Dago’s hometown.  Barney had quite a reputation in that ‘burgh.  He once stole a bag of dog food from a neighbor’s garage and dragged it home.  He would have got away with it if the bags were better made.  A hole in the bottom leaked kibble and led to him being caught brown pawed.  Barney was an intact dog who could smell a lollipop in heat from two towns over and trekked across highways and byways to get some curly action.  He once stood at the front door of a house, in which the owners had no back door access, and when they arrived home, snarled and wouldn’t let them in their house until they let his amore, Rosalita, come out tonight.  The couple went to a neighbor’s house and called the police on the little terror, who then called animal control, who was well aware of Barney’s reputation.  Daddy was called and pulled up to the house in his banana colored ‘73 Monte Carlo.  Barney saw the Dago looked at the people, said “my rides here,” got onto the passenger’s seat of the car, and mooned the people as they sped away.
    I asked Barney why he chased the mailman.  “Because they were always bringing misery to the house,” he explained.  “He never gave anyone anything good, except for maybe at Christmas.  We dogs did our best to keep him, and the sorrow he carried in those bags, from our door.  Besides, he never had anything for me.”
    That was true. The mailman never had anything for us.  Plus, he would not play with us.  He could not be trusted.
    But then, during my lifetime, things began to change for the better.  We started to get mail.  There were Christmas cards addressed to us.  The postman slipped them into our box with a chuckle.  Then came the packages from places called Amazon and Chewy that delivered us food, treats, toys, and games.  Things sure had changed since Barney’s time.
    It used to be that dogs barked at the mailman to chase him off, now it is because we want him to double-check this truck to make sure he didn’t forget anything that was addressed to us.  Unfortunately, our personalities aren’t layered.  A mail carrier can’t tell the difference between us running up to him and barking to chase him off, and us doing the same thing to greet him.  The Lord didn’t give us any tonal bark deviations.  Forget happy or angry, for a dog; sarcasm is just darn impossible.  Everyone takes us too seriously. 
    We dogs are going to have to figure out a way to curb our enthusiasm mail delivery person wise.  We have to remember to approach them with a wagging tail and a kind face.  I am sure if we did that,  we would prove ourselves no threat to them.
    Unfortunately, they still taste so damn good.
    Like everything in the mortal world, it's a struggle.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Pocket is in Need of a Good Grooming


I am almost a month overdue for my grooming appointment, and I am itching to get pampered at the spa again.  I did not realize how fuzzy I looked until I got picked up for a snuggle and saw my reflection in a mirror.  I barely recognized myself. My eyes were hidden, my facial hair was hanging under my chin, and when I drank, I got soaked and dripped everywhere, just like the way River does.  I have always thought it was a disgusting habit on her part; now, I too am a hideous dripper.

River looks like a Civil War General, with her mustache and beard hanging down under her chin, and her eyes almost covered. The hair on the back of her head is growing down her neck, making it look like she got a dye job.  On our walks, women, who have been praying to get their hair colored since the lockdown began, follow River and harass her trying to find out where she got her roots done.

My parents are keeping a concerned eye on my nails. I have black ones, which makes it hard to tell where the quick is.  Both my parents would freak out if they cut it and caused bleeding.  Also, I don’t like my paws touched and will make the procedure as difficult as possible.  River is more cooperative, but she has black nails too.  They hope our groomers open before our nails grow too much.  

It is a sad state of affairs.  We knew this virus would come for our health, our money, and our jobs, but they never said it would come for our beauty.  The world today, with it’s white and it’s dark roots, it’s unpolished nails, it’s unkempt hair, is grotesque.  Open the salons to save the country is my motto, but no one is listening to what the dogs are barking, more’s the pity.


 I am a polite girl and do not like discussing such things, but I also have a hair across my ass, several to be truthful, as does my sister.  Humans don’t know how hard it is to poop through hair.  It’s like trying to shove a basketball through a net that is just not quite big enough.  I have heard my Mommy say she might try to clip back there, but that scares me too.  It does all dogs.  The last thing we want to hear is a snipping sound by our nether regions. 

And that brings me to another indelicate issue:  River’s anal glands.   They usually need to be expressed every 20 days.  But, River has gone more than two months without even an anal poke  It is like living with a ticking time bomb.  I hope her anal glands explode outside, but I am sure her glands will go off in bed next to me, during the night, a nightmare scenario.


 I sure hope the state opens the grooming salons too.  Anyone who saw River’s anal glands would know why they are a necessary service.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Monday, May 11, 2020

Monday Question

What do your parents think is your worst habit?
What do you think is your parents' worse habit?

Pocket:  I have never been fully housebroken.  When I pee inside sometimes it is on a pad, sometimes it is near a pad, sometimes it is in the next room from the pad, and sometimes I just go.
River Song:  My parents don't always mind when I bark but when I bark at nothing it annoys them.
Our parents' worst habit is leaving home without us?

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Beaux Finds His Mom a Chavo

My friend Beaux Jangles has had an arduous task since he became an angel. 
A year ago, he arrived at the Bridge.  He immediately began looking for a new dog for his mom.  She is a passionate, fiery, opinionated, loyal, and tough woman. She didn’t just need a dog; she needed someone who could match the immense love she gave for others, and balance it with her passion for life, whoever the lucky dog would be required a precious pup.    

Every day for almost a year, Beaux flew down to interview a different dog on the mortal side, for the position of his mom’s only dog.  He usually began his questions by asking the dog how he or she felt about a mom who frequently, and excitedly raises her voice over things like seeing a bird in the yard or not being able to find the salsa.
Often, that was the end of the interview.  I, being of sound mind and certifiably tough, would have been an excellent candidate for the job, but I had already found my Forever Mom.  Pocket would have crumbled before the challenge and hid under the bed.

Finding a dog who was not bothered by loud noises was only the beginning. Beaux ordered something from the Bridge Amazon.  It was a pee pad with a man’s face on it.  During his next round of interviews, Beaux called the dogs to pee on the pad.  The ones who did so immediately graduated to the next round.  The ones who wouldn’t pee were sincerely told that their interestest in the position was appreciated, but it was a pass.  Beaux knew peeing on the President’s face was a requirement to be his mom’s dog.

There were still a dozen dogs in the running.  Beaux gathered them all for a dream session where they could study the crucial things his mom’s dogs need to know, like what all the swear words in Spanish were, and how to keep the water bowl separated from the tequila.  “You mustn't get freaked out by an occasional worm at the bottom of your bowl,” Beaux instructed.  

During the interview process, Beaux became increasingly impressed with a preemie pup named Chavo.  He was scheduled to be a puppy but had not been born yet.  He had picked out black and white fur, with the white splitting down his face like a lightning bolt for his fur.  He had a fluffy tail and eyes of a thrill seeker.  Could this be the dog?  Beaux knew there was one more test that needed to be undertaken.

Beaux and Chavo went out drinking.  They painted the town red.  Even though Chavo would never touch alcohol, Beaux knew his mom needed a dog who at least looked like he could handle his liquor.  Little Chavo passed with flying colors.
  
The next day Beaux offered Chavo the position of the next heart dog in his mom’s life, and he accepted.  A few weeks after Chavo was born into the mortal world, Beaux slipped into his mom’s dreams and told her he had found the perfect dog for her. His mom followed his direction, found little Chavo, and brought him home.   Mama Yolando and little Chavo became an only mom and an only dog. Neither could possibly be happier.

And for the first time since he came to the Bridge, Beaux had a good night’s sleep. 

Friday, May 8, 2020

Boogie and Joette's Search Two-year Search for A New Home

I know during these difficult times that everyone feels that they have it worse than anyone else.   If you are thinking that way, let me introduce you to the dog formerly called Stanley, now known as Boogie.
  
The little, white Morkie first came into the life of Joette Tavernise when she saw a picture of him posted on a pole.  Someone had found him and was searching for his parents.  Joette fell in love with him at first sight.  His parents claimed him, but then they found themselves in a situation where they could not keep him.  Joette learned that Stanley needed a new home and was happy to provide it for the newly renamed Boogie. But housing would soon become a problem for her.  
 
Joette was trying to get by in her small apartment on just $1,000 a month from social security.  A new landlord bought her building and began to force the current residents out.  Joette found a new apartment, but at the last minute, she was denied housing after her former landlord began an unnecessary eviction proceeding against her.

Joette and Boogie were now homeless.  With nowhere else to go, she drove her CR-V to Target, parked between two cars belonging to overnight workers, and slept with Boogie curled up in the passenger seat next to her.  
     
The night passed uneventfully, so Joette stayed there the next night and the one after that.  Days became weeks, and weeks became months.  Joette looked for apartments, but those in her price range were elusive.  She had two previous marriages, but neither ex was in a position to help her, and she was estranged from her daughter.  All she had was Boogie, and all Boogie had was her. 
     
Boogie proved to be one of those emphatic dogs who knew when Joette needed a smile, or comforting.  He got Joette through many tough times.
   
 Joette, after receiving several warnings, had to move to a new, less patrolled shopping center.  She could not work because of leg problems and memory issues caused by a previous stroke.  Her checks were directly deposited into her account, so she had money to feed both of them.  
     
During the day, Joette and Boogie walked the city, and at night they slept in her car until an out of control driver slammed into it while it was parked in the shopping center totaling it.  Joette watched helplessly as the vehicle was towed away.
Joette and Boogie moved to the park.  Boogie did not know how much more his mom could take, and he prayed to the angels.  We could not fix the situation on our own.  We had to find a human angel, which we did in the presence of Marceil Handkammer, who pulled over when she saw the older woman and her dog sleeping on the ground.
Marceil took a particular interest in Joette and Boogie.  She convinced Joette to go into a shelter, while Marceil took Boogie home until his mom and he found a place together.  Finding an apartment proved to be more challenging than Marceil first thought.  But, she did not turn her back on Joette.  Marceil brought her food, medication, and to visit Boogie.  Marceil was worried when Joette moved out of the shelter last month and went back to sleeping outside, because of her COVID-19 concerns.

A temporary solution was reached when a broken wrist was suffered by the mother of one of Joette’s friends and had to move out of her assisted living apartment while she was in rehab.  Joette and Boogie were able to move in, at least for a month.  Meanwhile, more than $7,000 has been raised via a Go Fund Me page Marceil began for Joette.

While permanent housing may be within reach, Joette doesn’t know how long Boogie, now a senior dog, will be with her.  He was diagnosed with a heart condition, which proved to be serious.  We know Boogie will stay with his mom until she gets her new home, and then his work will be done.

So remember there is always someone worse than you.

But, at least for now, that person has a loving dog to take care of her.


Thursday, May 7, 2020

Pocket and the Disembodied Beep

I hate the sound that smoke alarms make.  Luckily, the noise seldom occurs at our house.  My parents make sure they change the batteries every time the clocks fall back or leap forward.  The alarms do make an awful sound when they are changed, and when that happens,  a disembodied voice comes from it, which makes me hide and River stand on her back paws and bark at it.  

    A couple of days after the batteries were changed, my parents were sitting in their chairs, and I was snuggled next to Daddy when there was one long, sharp beep that caused me to stand, look at the monster that made the sound, and tremble.

    My parents looked at the smoke/carbon dioxide detector on the wall.  They knew it couldn’t be the batteries, and there was no smoke anywhere.  Then they decided to do nothing, considering the possibility that the detector just wasn’t feeling well, and would do better in the morning.  I realized my parents were wrong, but they wouldn’t listen to me.  

Sure enough, the next day, while we were sitting in the same spot, the high pitched sound pierced our skulls again.  My Dad got up and looked at the alarm.  I barked to try and get his attention.  I had something important to say.  But he told me to settle down.  He decided to change the batteries.

But that didn’t fix anything.  The same sound was emitted the next day.  Daddy removed the smoke detector from the wall, took out the batteries, and threw it out.  He decided that it was broken.  He ordered a new one.  I tried to tell him that he wouldn’t help, but he wasn’t listening.

    So now, there was a hole in the wall where the device had been.  My parents were confident the problem had been solved.  The next day at 2:30 in the afternoon, the sound happened again.  My parents looked at the hole in the wall mystified. Daddy got a kitchen chair and stood on it to look down into the hole and see if that vast, empty space was somehow beeping. This is what I have to work with.  My parents were stumped at the disembodied sound. Perhaps, they were being haunted by the smoke alarm they had discarded.

    The next day a new smoke alarm arrived. Batteries were put in it, causing the disembodied voice to bark commands, and then it was placed on the wall.  The smoke alarm problem of 2020 had been solved, or so they thought.  I knew the truth.  The beeping wouldn’t stop.

    Two days later, there was another shrill beep.  My parents stared at the new smoke detector.  I jumped in Daddy’s lap and licked his chin, trying to make him look up higher.  River Song was of no help.  To her, the whole thing was just white folk’s problems.  Daddy, for the 87th time since the curious case of the beeping began, changed the batteries.  I sunk in the recliner.  I knew it wasn’t going to work. 

    It took 48 hours for the beep to occur again.  Daddy looked at the device flummoxed.  He said this was impossible.  I tried to get him to look up a little higher.  He was ranting at the fates, and perhaps, in an attempt to eyeball them, he looked up toward the ceiling and saw what I had known was the culprit from the first beep.  There was a second smoke detector, hardwired to the ceiling, a foot away from the accused.  

`    He turned to my Mommy and said, “Honey, has that always been there?

    Now, keep in mind, we have only lived here for nine years.  You can’t notice everything in a house that is 84 feet long, eight feet wide, and only has one floor, even if you are stuck in it for weeks.  I did not want to chastise my parents. I just wanted the beeping to stop, which, with a battery removal from the ancient unit, was accomplished.  

    So now, the terrible beeping is over until batteries run out on the other devices.  I am just happy I was here to help them.   

    They would be so lost without me. 


Monday, May 4, 2020

Monday Question

What would you do if your parent was in danger of attack?

Pocket:  Run and hide.  I wasn't built for fighting.

River:  I would fight them off unless they had a treat.  Then my parents are on their own.



 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Tanner Bub Welcomes Max to Rainbow Bridge

One of the great privileges in my life was getting to accompany my best friend Tanner Bub to the entrance of Rainbow Bridge. Tanner was one of my first online friends, and he inspired me to start my website and blog. Walking with him, on his final steps at the mortal side, gave me a great appreciation for life on both sides of the Bridge.
Since then, three of Tanner’s siblings have joined him in the immortal world. First was the little pup who Tanner personally selected as his replacement in his mom’s heart.  In almost every way, Ruger was a perfect choice, except for the fatal flaw of not having enough heartbeats, which caused him to go to the Bridge at a very young age. Cocoa was Tanner’s loyal sister and, once Tanner went to the Bridge, their mom’s best friend and confidant. This week they were joined by Max, the fourth member of Tanner's clan, to transition to Rainbow Bridge.
We angels have never been busier, at least since I ascended to the Bridge. The prayers have been overwhelming because people need as many angels as they can get in the scary mortal world.  In the time since I walked with Tanner to the Bridge, his mom and her family have confronted heartbreak after heartbreak. Tanner had given his mom the gift of resilience.
Max didn’t talk about what life was like before he became part of Tanner’s pack.  His skin sister Ashley found him walking down a road, lost and confused.  She coaxed him to her car.  Once inside, Max knew he was with his family.  Ashley was worried about how her two dogs would react to Max, so she brought him to her mom, who has never turned away a dog in need.  Max became a part of their pack and repaid them with good humor and fidelity. 
This year Max began to feel poorly.  He did his best to hide it from his family.  That is when Tanner went into his dreams and told him to let his family know how sick he was and how bad he felt.  While he had served his mom mightily for years the days were coming when she would have to take care of him, and, while she would gladly do it, this was a time when people needed angels, and Max could serve his mom much better as an angel than as a dog. When Max began to show how much discomfort he was in, his mother made the hardest decision and booked an appointment to send him to the Bridge.  His family gathered for one final goodbye.  Then he joined his three siblings, and his sister Ashley’s dog, the beautiful and regal Savannah, at the Bridge.
Their reunion at the Bridge was both joyous and heart-wrenching.  The pack was thrilled to be together again, but they knew the person who meant the most to them, their mom was shattered. The condition of the world, and the loss of four dogs, would be close to insurmountable for her to overcome. But, few moms have four more devoted angels than Max’s mom does.
When Max arrived, he has treated like Rainbow Bridge royalty because he is Tanners’ little brother, which carries a lot of weight here.  I have rarely seen dogs turn out in these numbers for a new arrival the way they did for Max.  He was overwhelmed by the response, and it helped him with his transition.  

Humanity is facing one of its most significant challenges, and people are all going to need divine intervention to help them through this crisis.  Max’s mom has an army of angels to watch over her.
We pray it’s enough for her and the rest of humanity.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Foley Writes About a Man and a Dog who Cope by Walking

I know a man who has a dog. The dog is fairly new to the household. You see, the kids wanted a pup. So the parents got them one. They were all very happy. 
Both the parents worked, and the kids went to school.  When the dad got home late in the day, he would take the dog for a short walk. The dog sure was grateful to get that little jaunt in.

Then came the virus. The kids stopped going to school, and the parents stopped going to work. The dog thought it was fantastic. He was getting more attention than he could have ever dreamed of before.

The days became weeks, and the weeks stretched to a month. No one had gone out of the house except for short trips for supplies. It's a big house, much bigger than any I ever lived in. It has high ceilings and open rooms. There's even a man cave in the cellar. But when you are quarantined inside a house for a long time that big expensive, house looked like, at least from the inside, an eight by eight cell.

The great thing about dogs is that we're always home. Alas, when every person in the house is home all the ti, me, it is not such a g, good thing for anyone living there.
Within a couple of weeks, the dad needed to get out. But he's a good person, and he didn't risk, infecting his family. Plus, there were strict restrictions about leaving the house, and he wanted to be a good citizen. He looked down at the dog; then, he found his answer.  “Honey,” he said, “I'm going to take the dog for a walk.” 

The wife was equally as sick of him as he was of her. He put the leash on the dog and took it for a walk around the neighborhood. The dog was so happy. He loved going for walks, and this one was s, lower than usual. He got to sniff whatever he wanted to smell.

They got home, and the dog took a nap. Later that day, the father announced he was once again taking the dog for a walk. The dog's tail wagged back and forth. He got outside, and gleefully explored the smells.  He had the best dog life ever.

The next day the dad and the dog went for a morning walk.  A few hours after they returned, the Dad announced that the dog looked like he needed another walk, and off they went.  Two hours after that,t they took another.; the dog kept up its enthusiasm throughout the day, even for the two after supper 15 minutes apart. 

Now the dad is taking the dog for a walk six to eight times a day.  The dad said the dog was a little heavy and needed the exercise despite the pup having legs like a gazelle.  The exhausted dog spent the day hiding under the bed, hoping his dad didn’t notice him, but his fluffy tail, as it always did, betrayed him.  He keeps being pulled out for walks.  He has every smell memorized in the neighborhood memorized.  His pads have been worn down to toilet paper.  He is suffering from hip dysplasia.  All he wanted was just to stay home.

    But, like an old gunfighter called out to defend his town endlessly, the Daddy kept bringing the dog out, even in the driving rain, in which they wore humiliating matching yellow raincoats and their feet and paws going equally drenched.  They cover an area of 87 miles a day. If you look to the east, you may see them still walking with no particular place to go.   

    Each is looking for the way back to normal.